Capitol Access

Weekdays at the bottom of the hour during Morning Edition

Reports on Louisiana politics, government and the people shaping state policy.

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“We’re going to make sure this is one of damn securest facilities there is in the state,” LSU Ag Center Chancellor Bill Richardson said Thursday, as he gave lawmakers a progress update on Louisiana’s medical marijuana program.


screenshot: legis.la.gov

“Why this bill, and why now? And why not look at what they are doing in Washington to take care of this?” Shreveport Representative Barbara Norton asked.

Wednesday, one day after a federal judge blocked President Trump’s executive order to withhold federal funding from cities with immigrant sanctuary policies, a Louisiana House committee heard a bill imposing state sanctions on cities that don’t cooperate with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations.

Wallis Watkins

In a meeting of a Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Representative Terry Landry (D-New Iberia) presented Senator Dan Claitor's (R-Baton Rouge) bill to eliminate the death penalty in Louisiana. 


Herding the CAT Tax

Apr 25, 2017
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“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tax proposal in Louisiana that has drawn this much concern and criticism from a variety of different voices,” LABI's Steve Waguespack told me on Friday. And while he hasn't spoken his piece about the Corporate Activity Tax to the House Ways and Means Committee yet, more than a few lawmakers already had their fur up when Representative Sam Jones started herding the CAT tax bill through that committee on Monday.


Sue Lincoln

In the 2016 sessions, House members were ready to blame the state's budget problems on inaccurate fiscal notes from the Legislative Fiscal Office. Now it;s time for the 2017 version of the “Legislative Blame Game”.

“REC is always wrong,” Appropriations chairman Cameron Henry has said.


Sue Lincoln

The second week of the session brought a kaleidoscope of activity to the Capitol, as color co-ordinated citizen activist groups and students sporting blue, yellow, red, green and/or purple  rallied on the steps and then cornered their lawmakers urging votes for equal pay, criminal justice reform, and mostly for more funding.


Wallis Watkins

University of Louisiana System Day at the Capitol Wednesday treated lawmakers and visitors alike to a performance by the Grambling State University band. But inside the building, officials and students from the nine-school system had serious concerns for the House Appropriations Committee. 


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The session’s first criminal justice reform bill is headed to the Senate floor. SB 16 by Dan Claitor addresses the problem of those previously sentenced to life without parole when they were juveniles.

Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson explained the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that penalty unconstitutional in several cases.

Sue Lincoln

As House members continue to dither over how to – or even if to – move ahead with comprehensive tax reform, the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee advanced several bills along those lines Monday.


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For decades, lawmakers have complained about how complicated the state school funding formula – the MFP -- is, so we recently asked State Superintendent John White if he could explain it.


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